The Face of Brave


Today was a hard writing day for me, so I decided to pick a poetry form and see if that would help guide my writing. I chose the Ae Freislighe or Irish quatrain.

The ae freislighe is a complex and intense form. Here are the guidelines: quatrain stanzas (4-line stanzas), 7 syllables per line, lines 1 and 3 rhyme together, but they rhyme as three syllables (xxa), lines 2 and 4 rhyme together as two syllables (xb), and the final line of the entire poem should be the same as the entire poem begins (the poetic term for this is dunadh).

Whew! I picked a good, hard form all right. Leave to the brilliant and resilient Irish to create this form.

As for news on the home front, everything is set with RIM having a bed for Trace. Now we wait and hope and pray that on Monday the insurance authorization will arrive.

She is improving everyday, but the function of her left leg (her previously good and strong leg) is still not very high. Her muscles are activating, but the weakness in her hip flexors prevent her from walking without difficulty.

But she is determined.

And strong.

Even in her weakness.

She inspires me to push through difficulties and to carry on courageously.

She is the face of brave to me.


Bravery lives to clarify
that less strong is not weaker—
that strength seeks to satisfy
and to protect the seeker

of truth, the one courageous
person whose strength is beyond
in every way. I respond—

the shy strength of fortitude
does bolster and dignify.
So I say with gratitude:
Bravery lives to clarify.

—Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

It’s Gonna Be Ok


Tomorrow is Tracy’s surgery. She is having a spinal fusion, which is a pretty serious surgery. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous and a little scared about the unknowns.

But I am choosing to breathe positivity and healing and a full recovery into this day. So many folks have reached out and called to encourage us.

Their words have not gone unheeded.

I have taken them to heart and allowed them to remind me of what is important. I am so very grateful to God for good friends, for a supportive church community, and for a workplace that allows me to take time off.

I know it’s gonna be ok.

It’s Gonna Be Ok

They say it’s gonna be ok;
They say it’s ok to be terrified—
that everything will work out,
but right now I’m not so sure.

One breath at a time,
one foot in front of the other
even when the path is dark
and looming with uncertainties.

I am strong and brave,
I am a force of nature,
I am connected and whole—
vibrating like a horsehair bow
scraping against violin string.

Who could imagine the beauty
created from that tension?
Who could imagine how music
bravely brings back life—

bringing light to the darkness
breathing beauty into the ashes
bowing a beautiful harmony
into the lonely melody?

I have known defeat and
I have known struggle,
I have borne the weight of loss
and nearly drowned beneath it.

So I will lean into that knowing—
how to climb out of the depths,
and how to cling to gratitude
like a lifeline of hope.

—by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan